Dental equipment and imaging devices find application in a dental office for diagnosis and treatment of various dental ailments such as caries and gingival disease. According to Transparency Market Research (http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/), a leading market research firm based out of the U.S., the global dental equipment and imaging market is expected to grow at a rate of 4.7% for the period 2012 to 2018.
Dental lasers used for treating gums dates back to early 1990s when they were first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, while their use on hard tissue such as mandible bone or teeth was approved in 1996. Comparatively new equipment in dentistry, these devices are being gradually accepted owing to their features such as reduced light exposure, short healing time, no requirement of anesthesia and portability due to its small size.
There are several variants of dental lasers such as carbon dioxide lasers, diode lasers and yttrium aluminum garnet lasers. These variants differ in the wavelength of light used by them, thereby defining their application areas. For instance, diode lasers utilize light with a wavelength ranging between 810 nm to 900 nm which are readily absorbed by soft tissues. Therefore, these lasers find application in procedures such as gingivectomy and tissue contouring. Carbon dioxide lasers are used in several surgical procedures on account of their ability to be readily absorbed by water tissues. Yttrium aluminum garnet lasers are expected to be the fastest growing lasers segment due to their wide range of uses such as minimally traumatic bone surgery for oral surgery, endodontics, implants and non invasive caries removal, and disinfection and etching of tooth structure before bonding.
As dental lasers are costly, they are experiencing good adoption rate in developed regions such as North America and Europe owing to the presence of higher disposable incomes amongst patients in these regions. However, dental drills, a conventional substitute of dental lasers, are still being used extensively in developing regions such as Asia and Latin America on account of their lower income at disposal.
Apart from dental lasers, dental radiology equipment is also expected to show promising growth in the future. The dental radiology equipment allows making radiography images of teeth and surrounding structures. The intraoral radiology equipment is used for diagnosis and precision dentistry, while the extraoral radiology equipment is used for several surgical procedures and emergency diagnostics. The newer digital radiology equipment is growing at significantly higher rate than its analog counterpart. Low x-ray exposure, and precise output which is easily storable in digital format, attributes to its growth.
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